GCSE students across England woke up to their predicted grades – for better or for worse.
Some are elated they have been awarded their so-called “centre assessed grades”, while others are unsure what they mean for them and their futures.
It comes after the government scrapped an algorithm used to moderate marks given by teachers following the cancellation of exams due to coronavirus.
Sky News spoke to pupils across the country as they reacted to their results.
‘If the crazy algorithm was used I would have been devastated’
Crwys Fernades from west London passed all of her subjects, with top results in English, science and business.
Her predicted grades were what she needed to study her preferred subjects at A-level, but if the government decided to stick with its previous system, things would have been very different.
She told Sky News: “I’m feeling fine about the whole thing.
“If the crazy algorithm was used I would have been devastated. I would have failed subjects because it’s based on our school’s past grades, which weren’t as good.”
‘I could have done better’
Muskaan Shabir, from Bristnall Hall Academy in the West Midlands, received one 8, three 7s and three 6s.
She told Sky News: “I’ve got mixed feelings. Happy that I got As and A*s. But I still feel I could have done better, particularly in English literature as I’m doing that at A-level.”
She added: “I’m really glad that I got a distinction star for sports, as I’m a keen basketball player and really enjoyed doing that.
“I’m going on to do A-levels in law, psychology and English literature. Then onto a law degree and hopefully to the bar.”
‘We’ve always felt forgotten’
Ellie Kidd is a BTEC student from Wales.
She, along with thousands of others, found out just last night that her results would not be ready today.
BTECs are being assessed using an algorithm, but exam boards said yesterday that they needed more time.
Ellie told Sky News: “I was watching the evening news last night and found out I was not getting them.
“I have friends that missed out on places at certain universities and now have to defer a year.
“For it to happen last night – it’s been handled badly. This could have been done a few weeks ago or even last week.
“I just think it’s turned into a huge mess. We’ve always felt forgotten.”
‘My grades are a fair reflection of how I would have done’
David Bordicott, who attends Bristnall Hall Academy, received a 9, six 8s, a 7 and a 5.
He told Sky News he was “more relaxed than in the build-up”.
“I’m really pleased with a 9 in computer science. I can go on now and do what I want which is to study game design at college. I’m enrolling this afternoon!
“My grades are a fair reflection of how I would have done. I’m really happy with mainly eights across the board – really pleasing.”
‘Still a bit shocked – but happy overall’
Poppy Grieve from Richmond Park Academy in south west London got 11 9s – the highest grades in the new system.
She told Sky News it was “strange not sitting exams”, but it has “all turned out well in the end”.
“I’m still a bit shocked at the result but I’m just happy overall,” she said.
“I think it’s been quite a confusing time because it was quite up in the air and we didn’t know what was going to happen with the results.
“It’s been a very unusual year with the whole coronavirus thing but I guess it’s all turned out well in the end.
“It’s quite strange not sitting exams, you might feel ‘I don’t know if this is how I would’ve performed in an actual exam’ but I trust the teachers to give predicted grades that are accurate. It’s strange but I think it works.”
‘The person who gave us our grades was someone who knows us’
Harshrdha Mutyala, another student at Richmond Park Academy, got eight 9s and two 7s.
She said: “I’m quite happy with this. I’m feeling quite relieved because the last few days have been quite nerve-wracking with all the changes and everything, so to get it out of the way feels really nice.
“I was really stressed and I tried to keep myself really busy. When we found out that we were going to get teacher predicted grades I think we were all really happy.
“To think that someone that doesn’t really know us was giving us our grades was really weird, so someone who knows us and has been with us for years obviously knows us better, so that’s very nice.”
‘I’ve seen some of the horrors from some of the A-level stories’
Taha Mehmood received two 9s, five 8s and three 7s.
He said: “I’m feeling quite happy and like a release of stress that’s been building up over the past weeks. But yeah, I’m very happy right now.
“The last few days have been pretty bad because I’ve seen some of the horrors from some of the A-level stories and just wondering whether that could happen to me.
“It’s been a bad place to be in, a lot of uncertainty. It’s been a very difficult year, to have less teaching hours, not being able to finish the curriculum… it made us feel quite disadvantaged but I think with these results we’ve done nicely.”
‘I was expecting some sort of government slip-up’
Student Felix Ottram received all 9s and 7s and feels “great”.
He said: “After all the news, I was not expecting that. I was expecting some sort of government slip-up and some teacher slip-ups, but they were all great.
“I can’t complain. I’ve kept busy trying to keep my mind off things. Obviously there’s been a lot of speculation on my part. Will I get it? Will I not? Will I get into the college of my choice? It’s great.”
‘I never thought I’d do this well’
Juan Bonanomi received two 9s, two 6s and the rest 8s.
He told Sky News: “I’m very happy. I never thought I’d do this well. It’s just surprising. All the ups and downs had me checking the news every five minutes, checking the updates, pressing refresh.
“Seeing what’s happening with the government, the education ministry and it’s managed to do me well in the end, so I’m very happy. Now I can put it all behind me and focus on my A-levels.”